Does God Make People Suffer?

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If a person suffers, does it mean that God is punishing that person? What do the Scriptures indicate? Job was an outstandingly righteous man.

Job 1:1. Yet Job suffered a lot at the hands of the Devil. Job 1:12, 14 – 19; Job 2:7. God did not make Job suffer.  Stephen was stoned to death. Acts 7:58– 60. The apostle Paul faced many hardships too. 2 Corinthians 11:23 – 27. Other servants of God faced difficulties too as shown at Hebrews 11:35 – 37.

Are we to imagine that these godly persons were punished by God? Job 34:10 and James 1:13 prove that God does not do what is wicked; he does not bring trials or sufferings on people. God allows people, including his servants, to go through trials/sufferings but he is NOT the cause of the trials.

He helps his servants to cope with trials. 2 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13.  Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 9:11 says that “time and chance happeneth to them all.”

So people, being at a certain location at a certain time, may suffer due to some disaster striking in that location. It’s like the saying goes: “being at the wrong place at the wrong time.” God is not responsible for such happenings.

Some persons do suffer as a result of wrongs they do, reaping what they sow. Galatians 6:7.  As in the past, such as in Noah’s time, God has an appointed time in the future when he will destroy the wicked who willfully choose to disobey him.

So may we  try to live the way of the Most High, and avoid a self-righteous, judgmental attitude toward anyone. Psalm 83:18; Ecclesiastes 7:20, 22; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.  Thus, we avoid making ourselves and others think that God makes people suffer.

Simeon James

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